Thursday, 29th July 2021
Pastor Kathy Poon
Section One V1-3 The Background
When people eat together at the same table, it means that they have good relationship. At Jesus’ time, the debt collectors were helping Romans collecting tax from the Jewish, therefore the Jewish hated them. They referred to them as ‘sinners’, those who did not obey the Jewish laws. The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law thought they knew the laws well, and they did not like how Jesus stayed with the debt collectors. Jesus knew their hearts and therefore he spoke three parables to teach them.
Section Two V4-7 The Parable of the Lost Sheep
The shepherd represents Jesus, what is our attitude when we are seeking the lost souls? Do we serve for the sake of serving? or do we have an attitude of finding and seeking them back with all costs? When we share the Gospel, how do we respond to the cold attitude people give to us? Can we continue and not give up?
Section Three V8-10 The Parable of the Lost Coin
The woman represents the Holy Spirit, when the woman goes to look for the lost coin, it is like the Holy Spirit looking for us. When sinners repented, their souls are found by the Holy Spirit. And just like how the woman rejoiced, the messengers of God will also rejoice in heaven!
Section Four V11-32 The Parable of the Prodigal Son
The father of the prodigal son represents our Heavenly Father, who will look everywhere for us to give us the Salvation, and we can have this Salvation. Yet when we want to build a more intimated relationship with God, our the Father, we must make our move and turn back to Him. The Father is always waiting for us to turn back to Him.
We are like the younger son, God gave us every abundance in the world, the beautiful natural environment, the resources, the animals… but we take it for granted. The younger son did not go back to his father at first, instead he went to feed the pigs for living. In verse 17, the younger son realized his mistakes, and in verse 18 he made the action to arise to go back to his father. Then in verse 19, he showed the true repentance, and changed his attitude completely. We are also like this younger son, we are rebellious and try to run away from God. But when we realize this and turn back to Him, then we will receive the heavenly forgiveness from the Father.
When the young son came back, the Father ran to him and honored him with the cloak. The cloak represents identity, the ring represents authority, and the shoes represent cleansing. Do we know our identity as the children of God? We have the authority from God, and we can be cleansed when we turn back to God. The Father prepared a feast for the younger son, then the older son was upset.
The younger son had an orphan spirit, because his relationship with his father was only about if the father provided for him or not. When the father provided for him then their relationship was good, but when the father was teaching and disciplining him, then their relationship was not good.
The older son also had an orphan spirit, his relationship with the father was based on fear, insecurity and anxiety. He only looked at how much he served the father, he was not truly happy to serve his father. Therefore he was angry, he was envious with the intimate relationship between the father and the younger son. How does Satan destroy an intimate relationship? By putting a seed of suspicion in-between them, the sinful natural within us will give us an envious mindset, we cannot accept that others are better than us, because we will feel God blesses them more than He blesses us! We doubt the love of God, we don’t believe that God will provide for us, and because of this doubtful heart, we cannot build an intimate relationship with God.
We need to turn back to God, to realize our mistakes, to arise and to come forward. We are God’s precious children, do not fight for our right and do not think God is unjust. We should not focus on being a winner, but to focus on being the sons and daughters. We should come down from the seat of the provider and protector, instead let God be our Provider and Protector. Be like a child, submit to the Father, ask Him what He would like us to receive, instead of what we want to receive. This is a heart attitude of submission, to fully surrender to Him and to only do what He wants us to do. By surrounding to Him, we can bring self-redemption in our lives.
Prayer & Pursuit
Thank You Lord, for Your abundant grace, You withhold nothing from us, thank You that You have found us, You help us and lead us, to find the way home. Father, we come before You, admit we are rebellious, we take what You have given us for granted, the money, time, talents, gifts… we are like the younger son, see You as someone who can give to us, we repent before You; we are also like the older son, we are envious and doubtful of Your love for us. We falsely accuse You as the strict Father, we live in fear and we don’t fully surrender. Forgive us and awaken us, Lord, we want to arise and go towards You, we have sinned against the people and we have sinned against You. Forgive us, Lord, and embrace us, restore our identity in You as sons and daughters. We no longer focus on what others have, we no longer doubt Your love for us. Instead, we want to rejoice with our brothers and sisters, and with the angels, enjoy the abundant feast You have provided for us. Amen
当时的人若同桌吃饭，说明彼此关系亲密。“税吏”在那个时候帮助罗马人收犹太人的钱，被犹太人厌恶，“罪人”指不遵守犹太律法的人。法利赛人和文士自以为精通律法，看不惯耶稣与这些税吏和罪人关系好，于是耶稣就用三个比喻故事来教导大家。在失羊的比喻中，寻找羊的牧羊人隐喻圣子耶稣- 当这只羊被找到时，代表“一个罪人悔改，在天上也要这样为他欢喜”（V7）；在失钱的比喻中，找钱的妇人隐喻圣灵, 若找到了，“在神的使者面前也是这样为他欢喜”（V10）；而在浪子回头的故事里，父亲则隐喻圣父，等到小儿子回家后他说：“只是你这个兄弟是死而复活、失而又得的，所以我们理当欢喜快乐”（V32）。看到一个罪人悔改，三位一体的真神是何等的欢喜快乐! “欢喜”这个词在本章出现10次，而10在圣经中是试炼的意思。当我们看见罪人悔改，我们喜乐吗？这对我们基督徒是一个试炼。
牧养人隐喻圣子耶稣 – 我们要寻找失丧灵魂的时候怀的是什么心态？是无所谓、交差了事，还是无论如何都要将他们找回来？在传福音时，面对人给我们冷脸，我们是否仍然不放弃？
妇人隐喻圣灵 – 妇人去找寻那跌落的钱，正如圣灵找着我们，就是“一个罪人悔改“的时候，“在神的使者面前”，也就是整个灵界“也是这样为他欢喜。”
父亲隐喻圣父 – 这里是小儿子愿意回转，他才被父所找着。我们可以有耶稣来找我们、有圣灵给我们能力，但当我们要恢复与天父的关系时，我们要先回转寻求父。耶稣给我们的是永生的救恩，圣灵充满我们就给我们能力、智慧，而天父则是在等着我们跟他建立关系。
V17-20a 转机出现。“醒悟”- 小儿子有心思的醒悟，意识到“我父亲有多少的雇工，口粮有余，我倒在这里饿死吗？”，他也有意志上的醒悟，在行动上做决定；他又有灵里的醒悟：“父啊，我得罪了天，又得罪了你”，这是一个在灵里面真实的懊悔；他还在心态上有醒悟，“从今以后，我不配称为你的儿子”；最后他也有行动上的醒悟，“于是起来，往他父亲那里去”。我们面对神，也需要这样的醒悟，有真实的悔改而不是破罐子破摔的心态，才能让我们与神的关系出现转机。
神千山的羊、万山的牛都是我们的，他渴望给我们丰盛，他赐给我们爱子耶稣使我们有永生，赐圣灵给我们可以有能力为耶稣作见证。如今父神在邀请我们回转，我们心思、意志、灵、心态和行动都要醒悟过来，回到父神这里。当我们回转到神里面的时候，我们就不需要去跟任何人去争去抢了。我们不是要在这个世上成为一个激进的winner，而是从供应者的宝座上走下来，成为神的一个 son or daughter。我们来到神面前应该是怀着一个去领受的心态，愿意降服、让神来掌权，这样就不会慌乱，不用惧怕。